Archery Fitness. Stretching Exercises. To loosen upper arm and chest muscles. To loosen back muscles.

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1 Page 1 of 6 What's New Notice Board Newsletter P1 Newsletter P2 Old Newsletter P1 Old Newsletter P2 Archery Terms Beginners Courses The 10 Steps Archery Rounds Archery Clubs Events Calendar Results Awards Equipment Rules New Archery Gear Basic Gear Basic Gear-2 For Sale Advanced Gear Basic Tuning Advanced Tuning Advanced Form How To Coaching Tips Archery History Archery Books Archery in Schools Archery Dealers Net Links Cartoons Feedback Guest Book Search Author Archery fitness consists of three main factors; Flexibility Strength Diet The flexibility (movement) of joints in the body are controlled by several factors:- bone structure, muscle bulk, tendons and ligaments. All these control the range of movement the joints are capable of. To increase this range of movement, the following stretching exercises are recommended. Stretching Exercises The following exercises are for stretching and warming up the muscles before shooting and for stretching and cooling down the muscles after shooting. These exercises will help prevent damage to muscles, tendons and joints and also increase flexibility. When performing these exercises, do not hold your breath at any stage, as it may cause dizziness. As you do each exercise the muscles will require more oxygen, so your breathing and heart rate will increase. To loosen upper arm and chest muscles. Interlock the fingers with palms out. Extend arms above head, keeping fingers locked. Stretch upwards and hold for 10 seconds. To loosen back muscles. Cross arms in front of chest and place hands around shoulders. Slowly stretch hands towards middle of back as far as possible. Hold for 10 seconds.

2 Page 2 of 6 To loosen chest, top of shoulder and lower arm muscles. Bend one arm over head and down back, bend other arm around and up back. Grasp finger tips and hold for 10 seconds, then reverse arm positions and hold for 10 seconds. Keep backbone vertical during this exercise. To loosen shoulders and back muscles. Lock fingers together, extend arms and twist slowly as far as possible to the right and hold for 10 seconds. Then twist slowly to the left and hold for 10 seconds. Do not twist suddenly as it may damage backbone joints. To loosen neck and upper shoulder muscles. From a normal standing position with arms at sides, raise up both shoulders towards neck as high as possible, then move shoulders forward, then move shoulders back. Do this for about 10 seconds. To loosen back and shoulder muscles. tubing, grasp each end, raise arms to shoulder height and extend arms, keeping elbows straight, outwards and backwards by squeezing shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat about 6 times. To loosen shoulder muscles.

3 Page 3 of 6 tubing, grasp each end, raise one arm above head and the other arm level with shoulder. Pull down with arm and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat about 6 times. Swap arm positions and repeat exercise. To loosen chest and shoulder muscles. tubing, grasp each end behind back, hold arms at shoulder level, then swing arms forwards to stretch rubber. hold for 10 seconds. Repeat about 6 times. To loosen shooting muscles. tubing tied in a loop, imitate the shooting draw. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat about 6 times. Repeat exercise with opposite hands to balance muscle development. Back to Top Strength Strength in Archery is not only the muscle power required to draw a bow, but also to maintain balance and stay steady as you aim. How strong you currently are dictates what poundage of bow you can use. A bow that is too strong for you will only do possible damage to your muscles and joints. A light draw weight bow will generally be used for beginners to learn basic skills without the need for strength. As skills are developed, then a stronger draw weight bow may be used and so strengthening of muscles will be required. Some of the above stretching exercises can also be used to strengthen muscles. Strengthening Exercises The best results for strength training can be achieved by the following principles; Progressive Loading Specific Movement Progressive Loading

4 Page 4 of 6 The training weight for a person to start with is usually established by finding the maximum load that can be lifted 10 times in repetition. (Usually about 75% of maximum strength). With all exercises, it is best to start with only a few repetitions of each exercise for the first two weeks, then progressively increase the number of repetitions over a period of about 4 weeks, until 8 to 10 repetitions can be achieved. Allow a recovery period between each exercise to avoid fatigue. Most importantly, if a particular exercise is causing pain in the muscles or joints, then reduce the weight and/or the number of repetitions. "No Pain, No Gain" is wrong. When the body feels pain, it is a message to ease off and slow down before you do damage to muscle fibres and tendons. Specific Movement The muscle groups used in archery where strength is required are; the upper back and shoulder muscles to draw the bow, the upper and lower shoulder muscles to control the draw arm, the arm muscles to extend the bow arm, the finger muscles to hold the bowstring. To strengthen these muscles, the exercise used should closely imitate the movement of shooting a bow. Remember, when strengthening specific muscles, include both right and left hand sides to maintain a balance of muscle strength. Other muscle groups often over-looked in archery are; the upper and lower leg muscles to control balance, the lower back and waist muscles to control a steady stance. Back to Top Diet Nutrition for Sport The sport diet must have two basic components; Nutrients Enough fuel to meet training and sport demands Essential nutrients for good health Carbohydrate - for energy Fat - for energy Protein - for growth and repair of tissue Vitamins - for growth and repair of tissue Minerals - for regulation of body processes Dietary Fibre -for regulation of body processes Water - for regulation of body processes

5 Page 5 of 6 Food Pyramid (Suggested Daily Servings) Carbohydrates There are two main types of carbohydrates, Complex Breads, rice, cereals, pasta, biscuits, potatoes, peas, sweet corn, parsnip, carrots, dried beans, lentils, fruit, milk and yoghurt. Simple Sugar, honey, jams, marmalades, confectionary, cakes, soft drinks, cordials, sweet biscuits, toppings, flavoured mineral water. Complex carbohydrates also contain vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre and are therefore better for you. Simple carbohydrates are high in sugar content and can also be high in fat content. Fat A small amount of dietary fat is necessary for good health. It is recommended that amount of fat in the diet be kept to 25% to 30% of total kilojoules consumed. Sources of dietary fat are; cream, sour cream, butter, margarines, full cream milk, cheese, ice-cream, yoghurt, nuts, chocolate and snack foods. Protein Protein is essential for building and maintaining the body's tissues, such as muscles, skin, hair and blood. Protein also helps in the formation of antibodies. The basic units of protein are called amino acids. There are 20 amino acids, 9 of these cannot be produced by the body and so must be consumed in the diet. The recommended daily amount of protein consumed is 1.0 to 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight. Sources of protein are; lean meat, eggs, dairy produce, fish and poultry, vegetables, nuts, bread, rice, etc.

6 (Note: as vegetables lack one or more essential amino acids, a vegetarian athlete must pay careful attention to the selection of foods.) Page 6 of 6 Vitamins and Minerals Vitamins C, B, folate, pantothenic acid and biotin are easily passed by the body and so need to be included in the daily diet. Vitamins A, D, E and K are stored in the fatty tissues of the body and therefore can accumulate over time if an excess is consumed. Minerals are required for nerve transmission and muscle contraction. The two most important minerals for an athlete are iron and calcium. Sources of iron are; lean red meat, liver and green leafy vegetables. Sources of calcium are; low fat dairy foods. (To increase calcium retention, minimise caffeine and salt intake.) Vitamin and Mineral tablets should only be used if your diet does not contain enough. Dietary Fibre Dietary fibre consists of plant material such as cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, polysaccharides, gums, mucilage and lignin. These are found in wholegrain cereals, fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes. Dietary fibre slows down the release of sugars from food and gives the athlete a more sustained release of energy. It is recommended that an athlete on a high fibre diet ensures that their diet contains adequate amounts of minerals. A high fibre diet can reduce the uptake of minerals. Water Water is essential for the body to function properly. Water is passed regularly by the body and through the lungs and skin, so it needs to be replaced. Thirst is not a good indicator to replace water lost through training or sport. The correct way to estimate water loss is to weight yourself before and after training or sporting activities. This weight lost should be replaced with water. During training or prolonged sport, it is best to consume a small glass of cold water at frequent intervals. In summer, the volume of water consumed will increase due to losses from increased perspiration. Back to Top Author : Graeme Jeffrey Copyright Centenary Archers Club 2005 This page last revised: 01 November, 2004

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